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“Holly had a really good night on offense for us. It was just one of those nights where she was on and we told the setters to get her the ball as much as they could,” noted Bellmont volleyball coach Craig Krull in analyzing one of the main reasons the Squaws handled the visiting Snider Panthers in three games, 25-22, 25-13, 25-13 at the Teepee.
Krull was referring to sophomore outside hitter Holly Hankenson who nailed 13 nails none of which were perhaps more important than her back-to-back slams early in game two that took a lethargic Bellmont from trailing 4-3 to leading 5-4, a lead they would not relinquish in that game.
In a key game for Adams Central at Fort Wayne, the Jets downed potential sectional rival Bishop Luers in five games.
Hankenson connected on 13-27 attempts and added seven digs and an ace.
The Squaws had battled with a tenacious Panther squad in the first game with neither team willing to say “uncle.” Bellmont went up at 15-9 at one point on one of senior Erin Hunter’s five aces of the night, but the Panthers came back to chip away at the lead and at one point late in the game managed to get the score down to 24-22.
“I wasn’t going to let it get any farther than that. If Snider would have hit 23, I would’ve called a time for a little refocus session. I thought this was a part of the match that we could just let ‘em work through it and they did,” Krull noted.
The third-ranked team in class 3A this week, the Squaws led 8-5 in the second game when Hunter drilled in a back row kill to get the serve back and senior setter Steph Shoup appeared at the service line. When she was done, the scoreboard read 16-6 as the majority of damage was self-inflicted by Snider as the Panthers drilled five straight errant shots, four of which went into the net on their side.
Bellmont’s largest lead of the second game came at 18-6 on a Sarah Norder kill, again at 19-7 on a Snider miscue, and when they belted a shot out-of-bounds on game point, it was a 12-point win for the Squaws.
“Snider is a much improved team from the past couple of years. They have a lot of size and I think they put most of the energy they had into the first game. After that, they didn’t seem to have as much fire,” Krull said.
Snider had a kill by Shanelle DeJournett to open round three but a solid block kill by BHS senior Payton Schultz tied the game and the Squaws then took the lead for good on a Snider hitting error. Aces by Hunter and Shoup made the score 7-2 and 13-5 respective in Bellmont’s favor and then game point was decided, almost appropriately enough, by a kill by Holly Hankenson.
Other stats in the game found Schultz with eight kills, four digs and an ace, Bailee Hankenson with six kills, 11 assists, two aces, and six digs, Hunter ended up with two kills, one assist, five aces, and six digs, Allison Gutierrez had a team-high 18 digs along with two assists and an ace, Janaya Wilder tallied three kills and one dig, Shoup had 14 assists, two digs and an ace. Bailee Hankenson was credited with two assisted blocks while Schultz and Norder each had one.
Akilah Sims led Snider with nine kills in 20 tries while DeJournett and Leah Painter each had four. Rachel Wilson had nine assists, while Somer Johnson had seven. Painter and Kaleigh Ensley led in digs with 12 and 10 respectively. Johnson had two solo blocks and one assisted rejection, Grace Woolsey had two kills, two digs, and two assisted blocks, and Sims had two assisted blocks.
Bellmont won the reserve game by nearly identical scores at 25-12 and 25-11.
Taylor Rhymer delivered five kills, three digs and an ace, Madalyn Mann and Natalie Busse each had four kills while Mann had six assists and an ace and Busse four digs. Olivia Fuelling ended up with six digs, two kills and one assist and kill, Emily Roman had six digs, Devon Schultz had seven digs, Madison Glancy finished with three kills, Carley Williams had four digs, two aces, and an assist, Autumn Konkle had 11 assists and four digs, Jessah Okoniewski had two digs, and Jordan Rumschlag scored two kills and one dig.
The freshman match featured a very close first game with the Squaws finally surviving 25-21. They had a much easier time in the second tilt with a 25-8 margin.
Kenzi Funk had six kills, two digs, five aces, and a block, Amanda Hunter recorded 13 assists, eight digs, two kills and one ace and block, Rachel Salerno had four digs, three kills, two aces, and a block, Ali Shaffer had four kills, three digs, and an ace, Dana Garcia had five digs, Sadie Alberson had two kills and Mindy Loshe had one dig.
Bellmont’s next action is Tuesday at North Side before they return home next Thursday to host Lakewood Park Christian.
The BHS varsity is now 8-3 on the season.
AC Gets Key Win
In a key match that may be used as a turning point of the season since it involved a potential sectional rival, Adams Central posted a five game win over Bishop Luers in varsity volleyball play Thursday night 18-25, 25-23, 25-20, 18-25, and 15-11.
Bishop Luers knocked off Adams Central in the sectional last year and Jet coach Jeremi Schortgen has repeatedly pointed to the Knights as being one of the favorites in their sectional this year.
The Adams Central win found senior all-conference setter Alyssa Keller and hitters Bess Fiechter and Chelsie Eads topping the Jets as Keller delivered 24 assists along with 16 digs and three kills, Fiechter notched seven kills and 15 digs, and Eads smashed down a team-high 12 kills along with a pair of digs.
Abbey Lichtle was active on defense with eight digs and also had two solo and two assisted blocks along with a kill. Liz Luginbill accounted for nine digs, one ace, and two assists, Abby Snyder had the other AC ace along with two assists and nine digs, Alexa Baller saved 13 balls with digs and freshman hitters Haley Gross and Whittney Peterson delivered five and four kills respectively. Peterson also had two assisted blocks while Gross had a solo block and one dig.
In junior varsity action, Adams Central posted a 25-20, 25-15 triumph with Kaitlin Carroll serving up seven huge aces along with four digs and a kill. Madi Schwartz dished out 12 assists and had six digs, an ace, and three kills, Jenny Schultz had seven kills and two digs and assists, Jen Kahlert had one kill and one solo block, Sam Fisher picked up a kill and three digs, Meghan Manley recorded five kills and digs, three assists and two aces, and Jayla Byer had one ace.
The win brought the Adams Central to 4-5.